Walt Disney inspired me. When I say that he inspired me, I’m not talking about the way I write my children’s books or the way I draw. Walt Disney was a great story teller, and like him, I love fairy tales and talking animal stories. But what inspired me was the way he lived his life and how he realized his dreams.
Like him, when I was young, I had to deliver newspapers. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I began my paper route, but I know that I was not older than 7 years old. The bag of newspapers was almost bigger than I was. Like Disney, I had to get up really early, around 5 am, to deliver the papers before school.
Walt Disney said that the paper route traumatized and haunted him; forty years later, he was still having nightmares that he had missed some customers. I don’t have nightmares about my paper route, but I remember that sometimes, after finishing my route, I still had one or two papers in my bag, and I had to do the entire route again trying to find out which customers I missed. Yes, it was hard for a little boy.
In the beginning of his career, Walt Disney didn’t have a lot of money and his first company, Laugh-O-Grams, went bankrupted. But Disney never gave up; he overcame obstacles and achieved his dreams. My favorite Disney quotes are:
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
“The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting.”
Seven months ago, one of my friends asked me why I was still working on my children’s books when I could make more money by doing overtime at my day job. Well, first, I like writing children’s books and second, I got big rewards by writing stories for children.
When a mother tells me that her kid loves my stories and my characters, that’s a big reward for me.
Or when I receive a review like this one:
“My daughter said ‘I like the book, dad’ and she’s NOT a reader. So, for her, that’s practically like inviting the author over for tea and a sleepover! Well done! ” – P. Repage, physician in NYC
That kind of review is a big boost to continue writing children’s books.
Or when a teacher sends me an email like this one:
“I want you to know I had the privilege of sharing your stories with my sixth graders this past week. We have started our unit on Myths, Fairytales, etc. I opened my kindle on my computer and shared just one of your stories with each class as an introduction. I had your book link on Amazon posted on my board. No class heard the same story. They loved them.” – Sandra Stiles
These kind of comments are my big rewards!
I’m not Walt Disney and I will never be. But when one of my book brings happiness to a child, when it makes a kid dream and smile, I’m happy to be me.